You Never Know…

You never know who God is going to allow crossing into your path.

In one of my sociology classes last semester, I had a student who grew up as a Christian in Baghdad, Iraq. His family (and extended family) fled because of persecution three years ago. They were in Jordan for a while, and have now been in the States for about a year. He and his family and friends have quite a testimony. They came to our church one Sunday and shared. All of them no someone, and have had family members killed and or persecuted because of their faith. My wife and I had the privilege of eating with my student and his family in their home. They treated us like royalty, feeding us a traditional Iraqi meal. Now, every couple of weeks or so, I meet with a group of Iraqi Christians for Bible study and prayer.

This semester, I have more than one student from Egypt, and they are also Christians. The reports they are receiving from back home do not match what you see and hear on the news. Right now, in Egypt, there is wide spread attacks and killings by Muslim extremist on Christians; and the vast majority of people you see in the streets of Egypt protesting the government, fighting for democracy, are Christians.

Through these students, my eyes have been opened to the real persecution of believers around the world. It is one thing to read about persecuted Christians. It is quite another to pray with them and to weep with them as they recall horrendous terrors.

The believers God has brought into my life from other countries, love Jesus passionately, and have proven their willingness to sacrifice, even their lives, for Him. They have yet to be tainted by the materialism and commercialism of Christianity in America. I pray they never are. Their faith and courage puts mine to shame, and you know what? Not a single one of them would be considered evangelical! They are Catholic, Coptic, and Syriac. In reality, they are genuine, New Testament, followers of Jesus Christ. I can only pray I would be as bold as they, when persecution comes my way.

This Sunday, when you wake up with a headache and a runny nose and are just too tired to get up and go to church, remember that there are Christians in Egypt and Iraq, and all over the world, who will have to walk miles to church knowing they could very well be shot and killed before, during, or after worship. Yet they get up and go anyway. 

Instead of us praying for them, they need to pray for us.

You never know who God is going to allow to cross into your path.


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